Oh, to sail and travel easily and conveniently, without carrying suitcases, and almost without changing hotels, with a fairy-tale cruise, a dream of natural wonders. More than ninety percent of the southern hemisphere is covered with water. In its eastern part lie two fascinating countries, Australia and New Zealand, and the best way to visit them is in on a cruise, an amazing pleasure cruise.
There is no need to change hotels; you can afford to indulge in the pleasures of life, as you sail on a ship whose only purpose is to provide you with relaxation and enjoyment at every moment. We are on board a luxury ship belonging to the fleet of one of the world’s leading companies, Holland America.
The Europeans discovered Australia in the seventeenth century. After the British lost their colonies in North America, it was only natural for them to accept, in return, as compensation, this new Crown Colony of the British Empire. From a barren land to which British prisoners were deported, it gradually became a thriving and flourishing country. Most of the population is of European origin, with a small Aboriginal minority.
Australia has a significant and active Jewish community. Also, Australian and New Zealand soldiers took an active part in the defeat of the Ottoman forces during World War I, in the Gaza, Beer Sheva and Jerusalem areas.
Australia’s wealth places it near the top of the world economy, especially in the commodities market. It is the the world’s largest exporter of iron ore, second largest producer of gold, the third largest producer of nickel and the fifth in copper. Australia has another fascinating treasure. The continent is the world’s main habitat for pouch mammals. After a brief pregnancy, tiny newborns immediately crawl into the mother’s pouch where they will continue to develop until they set out on their own.
Almost two thousand kilometers from Australia lies New Zealand, which, as a neighbor, is also a member of the British Commonwealth. A group of large and small islands containing the largest meadows and sheep in the world, New Zealand is known for its spectacular landscapes and nature, and has become a magnet for millions of tourists a year. It combines a wide range of natural landscapes: rainforests, sand dunes, hot springs and glaciers.
Arrival to Auckland, known as the “City of Sails”; the largest and most populated city in New Zealand. Meet the tour guide at the hotel till 10:00 AM. At 12:00 noon we will start our tour and will get to know the city. We will visit the Auckland Museum with its rare art treasures.
After prayers and Shabbat meals we will take a walking tour of the hotel area.
Today we will continue our visit of Auckland. We will see the botanical gardens, home to more than 10,000 plants from all over the world. We will see the city from Sky Tower, which at 328 meters, is the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere.
We’ll drive to the Harbor and board our luxurious Holland America Cruise Liner Ms. Noordam and settle-in for an unforgettable 14 night voyage.READ MORE
Ship: Ms. Noordam
Our meals are Glatt Kosher with meat and poultry provided by Webermans Traditional Foods
Health and Fitness
* 3 pools – Sea View pool, Lido pool, Oasis pool * 3 Jacuzzis * Gym Greenhouse * Spa Aerobics studio * Beauty salon * Thermal suite * Basketball court * Practice tennis court * Lower Promenade deck walk
* Van Gogh theater * Casino * Crow’s Nest lounge/nightclub * Explorations library/internet cafe * Explorer’s lounge * Culinary Arts center * Neptune lounge * Hudson card room * Club HAL kids club * Club HAL games room * The Loft teens club * The Oasis teens deck
* Shopping arcade * Art gallery * Launderette * Half Moon meeting room * Medical center
Today we visit Rotorua, the “Sulphur City” located in an area that has an abundance of geothermal activity. We will tour Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, a preserve of geothermal activity that has made this area famous, along with the Maori village, Te Puia. In this geothermal reserve, we will see hot bubbling mud and eruptions of geysers.READ MORE
The land here moves and bubbles and boils as steam rises from it. The people of the Te Arawa came to New Zealand in the middle of the 14th century from Hawaiki – the birthplace of the Maori – and settled in Rotorua. The Maori people are now trying to preserve their heritage and share it with tourists with warmth and good humor at every opportunity. We will enjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. The tour will terminate with a boat ride through the ‘Glowworm Grotto’ – a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms.Close this
The ship will dock today in Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, because after an earthquake in 1931 that destroyed most of the city, it was rebuilt in the Art Deco style.
This morning we will dock at the port of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, and the second largest city in the country. The city is at the southernmost point of the North Island.READ MORE
We’ll board a train to view the region’s landscape and then continue to the Botanical Gardens to enjoy a world of spectacular flowers, preserved forests, special vegetation collections and stunning views of Wellington. After this we will visit “Te Papa”, the famous National Museum of New Zealand. The museum displays the geological history of New Zealand, its nature and the history of the Maori, the original inhabitants of New Zealand. We will continue along the streets of the city and see the old Houses of Parliament.Close this
This morning we will dock at Akaroa harbor, not far from Christchurch, the largest city on the southern island of New Zealand, the capital of Canterbury region. Christchurch is the last stop for expeditions before they leave for Antarctica.READ MORE
We will visit the International Antarctic Center, where we will “travel” among huge pictures from Antarctica and see how the explorers discovered and mapped it. We will discover the animals that survive its harsh climate and learn about global warming and its effects on glaciers that begin to wander.Close this
After prayers and our Shabbat Lunch, we’ll enjoy a lecture or shiur. After that there will be time to relax and enjoy the ship’s wonderful facilities.
Nothing can prepare you for the majesty of Milford Sound, star of Fiordlands National Park. This is one of the most beautiful fjords in New Zealand and around the world.READ MORE
The steep, towering peaks and deep cobalt of the fjords allows ships to sail only a few meters away from the cliffs that surround it, and is you’re on deck, you’ll most likely get wet from the spray of huge rapids that fall to the sea along the fjord. We’ll enjoy the dramatic views of the cliffs fading in the mist, and, if we’re lucky, we’ll see bottlenose and dusky dolphins, fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, and more.Close this
We will spend the following days relaxing as we cruise towards Australia. Take advantage of the ship’s many outstanding facilities, or simply relax on deck with a drink and watch unmatched scenery glide by.
Located between the Tasmanian Sea, the Dervent River and Mount Wellington, Hobart is the capital of the island of Tasmania. The smallest state in Australia, it is an island on the country’s south side. Hobart is a small, beautiful port city that is the center of the state’s activities. It is rich in colonial heritage, rainforests and natural landscapes to which we will travel today.
A day at sea enables us to enjoy leisurely relaxation, a variety of treats, movies and lectures.
This morning we will drop anchor in the port of Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria and the second largest city in Australia. We will take a tour of the green city on the banks of the brown Yarra River.READ MORE
The center of the city contains: Flinders Street Station that has recently been refurbished, Parliament House, Fitzroy Gardens, and Captain Cook’s Cottage. We will visit the National Museum, the Memorial to Australian and New Zealand Soldiers, the Great Synagogue and the most impressive museum complex in the world.Close this
Today is a day of relaxation as we sails towards Sydney. Take advantage of the ship’s many outstanding facilities, or simply relax on deck with a drink, take in a movie, enjoy a show and pamper yourself with a massage at the spa. After prayers and our Shabbat Lunch, we’ll enjoy a lecture or shiur. After that there will be time to relax and enjoy the ship’s wonderful facilities.
Even wonderful experiences must come to an end… Today we arrive at Sydney Harbor, Australia’s main gateway. We bid a sad farewell to the ship’s crew and leave the wonderful ship that has been our floating luxury hotel for the past two weeks. If the weather allows, we’ll go on a wonderful day out in the Blue Mountains.READ MORE
It is a beautiful reserve with huge eucalyptus forests. The name “Blue Mountains” comes from the thin blue fog created by the etheric oil vaporization of huge forests of eucalyptus trees. On the way to the Blue Mountains we will visit a special zoo where we will see the animals that characterize Australia: kangaroo, wallaby and koala and we can be photographed with them. We will go down to the bottom of the rainforest in the steepest mountain train in the world and return to the center via cable car.Close this
Sydney, established in 1788 is built around Port Jackson, the largest natural harbor in the world. There are numerous small inlets creating small harbors and enchanting beaches. The sea plays an important part in the lives of the residents and sea sports are enjoyed by a large part of the population.READ MORE
The two most famous beaches are Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. The port, from which the ferries sail in addition, is located nearby the famous Sydney Opera House. During our visit we will see Darling Harbor, Hyde Park, The Cathedral of Saint Mary, and the Parliament House. In the afternoon we will visit the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney, an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city. Wrapped around Farm Cove at the edge of Sydney Harbor, the gardens occupy one of Sydney’s most spectacular positions. Established in 1816, it is the oldest scientific institution in the country and is home to an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas. From the rare and threatened plants of the world to the romantic rose garden, the themed garden areas show the diverse beauty of nature. Special features include: Cadi Jam Ora – First Encounters is a garden display that remembers and acknowledges the Cadigal – the original inhabitants of Sydney’s city center – and their relationship with this land.Close this
Our trip to Australia and New Zealand is over. We’ll take our experiences and memories with us as we transfer to the airport and fly back to our home gateway.
Air-conditioned tourist coach
Kosher half board & lunch packs daily
Glatt Kosher full board during the cruise
English-speaking local guides and a professional experienced guide from the staff of Shai
Entrance to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
first class hotels throughout
Outside cabins with window
Tips for local service providers
All shore excursions
Airport and security tax
Travel Insurance (For details see General Conditions)
Personal expenses and services
Tips during the cruise $155 per person
Tip for guide (Recommended: $5 per person per day)
Suitcases: From our extensive experience with luggage, we recommend that you prefer small suitcases to large ones. The weight of the suitcase permitted on flights is up to 23 kg and the weight of the hand luggage is 8 kg.
Please note: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of New Zealand uses X-ray Scanner machines and dogs to locate things hidden in suitcases. This Includes fresh and/or dried fruits, fresh and/or dried vegetables, fish (fresh, cooked and in boxes), meat of any kind, dairy products, eggs, plants, nuts or seeds, herbs, etc. Whoever brings anything forbidden will pay a fine of $ 340. If you have brought anything and are not sure whether it can be brought into New Zealand, you must declare it at customs. For further information, see : www.protectnz.org.nz
There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.
Only strictly kosher food is provided to our travelers on all our tours. On some of our tours we are able to provide glatt meals. Kashrut is of utmost importance to us and we take special measures to ensure that everything served is kosher.
Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.
It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.
A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your reservation. Payment in full is due 60 days before departure. A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.
• 90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 60-90 days prior to departure: $300 + $100 per passenger
• 60-30 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
• 30-14 days prior to departure: $1,000 + $100 per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total – no refund
We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance